I was talking to my co-worker at lunch about a new sports coupe and he suggested I look at the 2013 Hyundai Genesis coupe 3.8 V-6. I asked him if was joking and he said absolutely not. So we both went to the dealer to take a look. To my surprise I sat in the car and did not believe it was a Hyundai. What can you tell me about the car? I plan on buying a new coupe this spring.
QUESTION: I was talking to my co-worker at lunch about a new sports coupe and he suggested I look at the 2013 Hyundai Genesis coupe 3.8 V-6. I asked him if was joking and he said absolutely not. So we both went to the dealer to take a look. To my surprise I sat in the car and did not believe it was a Hyundai. What can you tell me about the car? I plan on buying a new coupe this spring.
ANSWER: As you know I get a test press car each week for evaluation purposes. The Hyundai Genesis 3.8 coupe I had was a real rear wheel drive sports car. Start with the 3.8 liter V/6 mated to an eight-speed automatic. The engine is mounted fore and aft, not transverse, aka sideways. Our press car had no optional equipment. The car comes one way, loaded with all options as standard equipment. Start with the powerful 3.8 liter V/6 344 hp with regular unleaded and 348 with premium gas, that’s right, the horsepower of a lot of V/8 engines out of a V/6.
I admit I had to open the hood and count the sparkplugs and check the air filter for an open element style. There is no question that Hyundai is a serious contender in the sports car market, from the Brembo brakes, five-link rear suspension, limited slip rear differential – and did I mention paddle buttons mounted on the steering wheel? Supportive seating and aluminum pedals, Xeon headlights, LED daytime running and LED tail lights are just a few highlights of equipment. Gas mileage 18 city 22 highway, and all this for a sticker price of $35,125 all inclusive.
QUESTION: With gas prices being so high, is there any advantage using the premium unleaded gas when not required for any vehicle?
ANSWER: That’s a loaded question for many reasons. First, engines that are designed for the premium unleaded will perform best if they use premium. In some cases the use of premium gas in an engine designed for regular gas can actually cause hard starting and hesitation when started in cold weather. In other cases the use of premium in some regular gas engines can give the engine some added boost in power. I can tell you that in my own Chevrolet truck with the 6.0 liter V/8, it does perform better with the premium gas.
QUESTION: I read your articles every week and enjoy them. I know you drive different vehicles every week. Unlike the car magazines that give information that I do not need you give the quick facts that I find useful and interesting. Can you comment on a few vehicles when possible?
ANSWER: Here are a few of the latest test drives.
Page 2 of 2 - The first is the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO. This is eighth generation and not an entry level car. The Malibu seats five and is high quality both in and out. The four-cylinder gas engine with the help of the electric boost motor propel this Malibu like a performance V/6. Our test car also had heated front seats and I liked everything about the car. Gas mileage with range 20s to high 30s on the highway. Base price $26,000 and it’s a bargain for the price. The old little Malibu has grown up to a great midsize car.
Next the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 sport coupe. This is four-cylinder 1-8 liter turbo charged four-cylinder rear dive car. Priced at $37,220 with good options total $44,11500. I like the feel and touch of the car. What I don’t like is the feeling of the four-cylinder. I do like the six-cylinder. Other drivers may like the four-cylinder turbo. The rest of the car was great. MB paid close attention to fit, finish and interior seating, especially the white stitching on the black seats; a real nice touch. The electronic controls are also less confusing than older models.
The Toyota Highlander has been around for many years and has had some issues over the years. The new offering is unlike the Highlander of yesteryears. The major improvements gas mileage power performance creature comforts ride and handling. A good optioned 4x4 Highlander will sticker around $36,000. Gas mileage 17 city 22 highway. Driving the Highlander for a week was good; it is not a real big SUV and handles more like a car the SUV. There is plenty of room for storage and easy access into the rear storage area.
The 2012 Volvo XCT6 AWD R SR is an SUV on steroids and more power than you will ever need. The turbo-charged six-cylinder rated at 325 HP; in my opinion is underrated by at least 50 HP. At any speed in any gear you press on the accelerator and you are gone. The SUV rides and drives more like a sports car. Our press car was optioned out with a lot of options including the platinum package, high tech package and special metallic paint. I let my wife take the vehicle with three girlfriends and they all complimented the ride and how quiet it was.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.